Updated: Dec 31, 2020
I’ve said it before, but it’s been a whirlwind of a year. In January, I never expected to be involved with the DOTS RPG Project that a newly made friend of mine had created, let alone be running everything fully by August. Because of DOTS, we've got strangers that are now close friends, industry leaders that we know personally, articles and interviews on various podcasts, and a feature in Dragon+ by the Editor in Chief himself. When I got to work on the social media accounts in March to get the word out about braille dice, I had no idea what this would become and I’m still in awe.
DOTS started off very simply - with someone wanting to help his friend. In the last year, there have been many people who came to us asking for help and we’ve made a point to treat each and every one of them as if they were a close friend, so we keep the same mentality Jack had originally. Just because someone is a stranger now, doesn’t mean they have to be always! Put yourself in someone else’s shoes, get to know the people in game stores around you, ask questions of those you want to learn more from, reach out to people that seem different, and you’ll see you may have much more in common than you thought. When you approach life with an eagerness to learn new things and help others, you will be the change you wish to see in the world. This is exactly what we're doing with DOTS!
We have spent the last 10 months talking to many publishers both big name and small. From products found in retail stores to just developing Kickstarters, we’re getting conversations going and making the concept of accessibility in gaming more than just a dream. Realistically, things won’t change overnight, we know that. Many products are already developed and just waiting for their release dates, so they can’t be made accessible from the ground up which would be ideal. The important thing though is these developers and publishers are aware of how important accessibility is, and how much of a demand there is for it! Somehow, we were in the right place at the right time this year so we’re able to get the community’s needs expressed to the companies that need to hear it. We’re happy to be the go-between and get the messages delivered to the right people, and will continue to do so as long as it is needed. Hopefully one day, companies will put accessibility first but until then we’re here!
If you’re looking for a detailed update on what to expect for 2019, this is DEFINITELY not the place to find it. I have no idea what’s going to happen next year, let alone next month! Things change each day, new opportunities present themselves overnight, and we find ourselves in situations we never even dreamed of. The one thing I can say without a doubt is that it will be exciting! Many more things are bound to happen with what I already have in mind. The biggest thing: charity paperwork filing is finally on the right track! After the chaos of the holidays we're going full force on that since we've got some great help this time. That's going to make a world of a difference and open so many more doors when we look to work with people and companies. We’re spending time researching more and different disabilities and impairments to get a better idea of where people are running into problems. We’re planning on coming out with some new accessibility friendly items, both designed in house and in partnership with other people and companies. Plus we’re looking to have more FLGS/schools/libraries/etc join the DOTS Family so we can help bring accessibility to as many communities as possible next year and the years ahead.
To everyone who has supported us on this wild and crazy ride so far, I offer a huge, heartfelt thank you. There is nothing that could have been done if the community as a whole wasn't interested in what we wanted to do. From random individuals on social media to big names in the industry, the simple concept of including others and improving accessibility in gaming has resonated so deeply. We're happy to provide this obviously much needed service and help improve the lives of our fellow gamers. If you have ideas of other things we should work on, or things you need help with, let us know! We're here for you, just a message away.
Also, stay tuned for more updates on our almost ready to launch Patreon, and keep an eye on our in stock DOTS Gear since we'll be adding more soon!
Thanks 2018, you've been great. Here's to 2019!!